Geiger Counters

Discussion in 'Science' started by toje, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. toje

    toje Member

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    Hi all,
    I did not see a thread on this so i Decided to make one.

    I am at the moment starting to collect Some old Cold war era Geiger Counters and dosimeters.

    Dose any one know of any import restrictions on them?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  2. Fuzz0r

    Fuzz0r Member

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    FYI it is spelt Geiger.
     
  3. Goth

    Goth Grumpy Member

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    There are no import restrictions; why would there be?
     
  4. OP
    OP
    toje

    toje Member

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    I never know with our laws, and believed that the gas's used in the Geiger-Müller tube may stop it.
     
  5. Goth

    Goth Grumpy Member

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    The quantity of gas is so small, and it's mostly an inert gas, at such a low pressure, that it's not dangerous and not significant.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    toje

    toje Member

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    Wooohoo finally got it, a Soviet DP-5V.
    Works like a charm i get between 11 and 20 clicks over the speaker when i use it,
    time to find me a radiation source to test it on :p
     
  7. Bastard Child

    Bastard Child Member

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  8. Pugsley_21

    Pugsley_21 Member

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    I bought one from eBay for my uncle, no import restrictions, didn't even get opened by customs
     
  9. Tabris

    Tabris Member

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    The only reason I can think of any issues with customs or import will be if the detector has a check source on the housing (which isnt common with newer devices)

    This would to the best of my knowledge cause it to be a restriced import and would require pre-approval to bring it in.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    toje

    toje Member

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    The DP-5V has a Check Source in the Probe housing, i had no problems.
     
  11. Goth

    Goth Grumpy Member

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    Depends what the exact nature and activity of the check source is, I suppose.

    I've never seen a Geiger or a Ion Chamber counter with the check source actually being labelled with a radioactivity warning, for example.

    What are the exact regulations on the quantity and nature of radioactivity that would be regulated as a restricted import, for example?
     
  12. Tabris

    Tabris Member

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    Any radioactive source or substance is considered a restricted import. "Under Regulation 4R of The Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956, a permit from the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) is required for the import of radioactive substances."

    An application for import needs to be filled out, with the details of the source (such as activity), supplier, personal details, $130 needs to be paid and you need to wait around a little while.

    http://www.arpansa.gov.au/Regulation/Permits/nonmedical.cfm

    In NSW you also require a license to possess from the EPA.

    http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/radiation/licensing/sellpossesslic.htm

    The process is very smooth (provided you aren't a bit suspect I guess). Or of course you can play the luck game on imports :)
     
  13. Maldark

    Maldark Member

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    Dosn't that really depend on how you define "radioactive source"? Is there a set radioactivity that the source needs to produce (minimum) because just about everything is radioactive. Me, you, the sun, rocks....
     
  14. OP
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    toje

    toje Member

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    From the sounds of that, i need a license from the EPA to keep a Bunch Bananas.

    Well considering it was opened by customs, i don't think they are too fussed.
     
  15. Tabris

    Tabris Member

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    The IAEA defines what is a "radioactive source" I'll try and dig up the paper on it.
     
  16. Sabot68

    Sabot68 Member

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  17. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    A Geiger counter doesn't measure "strength" of radiation. It counts the number of photons, alpha and beta particles that ionize the gas in the tube.

    They're pretty much pointless for a your purpose. All you need to do is test the thing works and some readily available Vaseline / Uranium glass is all you need.

    If you want to check that your meter is correctly counting then 1uCi = 37,000 Bq = 37KHz.
     
  18. Sabot68

    Sabot68 Member

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    Ookkaay, not sure how a radioisotope source of known activity/strength can be pointless with regards to a instrument that is pacifically designed to detect such...I'll take your word for it as I'm still learning about this stuff.

    I any case with regards to my question would importation of these samples be prohibited or at the very least need paperwork/customs declarations?
    From the web site is seems fairly easy to order them if you are in the states.
     
  19. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    Never take my word for it :)
    Do take my word when I say not every radiation measuring instrument is a Geiger Counter.

    As you said the sources have a known activity and strength.
    A Geiger-Muller tube can only measure activity, the strength makes no difference.

    Activity is measured in counts per second ( Becquerel) and the tube will either register the particle or not. Most tubes cannot detect alpha particles as they don't have enough strength (energy) to travel far through air let alone the glass of the tube. Certain tubes can detect alpha particles but they're expensive and fragile.

    The energy is measured in electron volts and if you look at the table of isotopes from United Nuclear you'll notices many of their source have the same activity but different energies. An instrument such as a Gamma Ray Spectrometer certainly does need calibration and that's what those sources are for. The energy of the decay of most isotopes is known with some accuracy and by measuring that energy which element / isotope is decaying can be determined. You can buy portable instruments that can give you an indication of what's the source of the radiation but they're $100s

    It might help if you look at the table from United Nuclear. Note for Cs137 you can by it in different levels of activity but the energies are the same.

    According to the "black letter" law you need permits and paperwork for anything radioactive which is clearly absurd as all of us are around 7,000 Bq. Problem is try as I could I could find nothing about these kinds of sources. So I don't want to say yes or no. As I said before contact United Nuclear, pretty certain you wouldn't be the first person from Au to ask.

    I'd suggest if there's no issue with getting them into the country and having them go with the Sr90 as it has the lowest activity. Geiger Counters become inaccurate at high activity levels as the gas takes time to recover from each particle ionizing it. Forget the Po210 as it's only an alpha source.
     
  20. Sabot68

    Sabot68 Member

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    Thanks for the info, I suspect the terminology I am using is incorrect.

    So I have sent an email to ARPANSA, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency to get some info.
    It will be interesting to see what they say.

    I will also ask the US site as you suggest.
     

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